Quinoa-Black Bean Salad

by Sarah on January 30, 2012

I did it.  I’ve jumped on the hippie quinoa bandwagon.  This shit’s actually good.  It may look like hairy couscous but it tastes nice and has a great texture.  It helps too that it’s dead simple to cook.

I wanted to make a salad of sorts, being inspired by my friend Ally’s quinoa salad (and more recently, some crispy quinoa cakes with Sriracha mayo–Yes, please)–but I took a little bit of a different approach….a south of the border approach, I suppose.

First off, I just cooked the hairy couscous according to the package’s directions.  I realize you can use stock or whatever, but I’m going to drench the stuff in dressing so I just cooked it in plain old water.

I also thought it would be lovely to have some roasty jalapeño flavor in there.  I only used one, as I was taking this to a party, but for my own taste I probably would’ve used two.  Yummy.  Just go ahead and roast them right on top of the gas flame.  It’s easy.  Use tongs to turn them over if you are a chicken.  If you are brave, just grab the little stem.  Let them go black all over.

Put the pepper(s) in a bowl and put a plate on top.  Leave them there so the peppers steam and the skins peel off easily.  You can seed them as you choose.  I seeded mine.  Then chop them up in wee tiny pieces.

I also chopped the rest of the ingredients I wanted in there (but failed to photograph it)–red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, avocado.  I also rinsed a can of black beans.  I probably would’ve used tomato if they were in season.

While the quinoa is doing it’s absorbing thing, whisk up the dressing.  It is a basic vinaigrette, using the juice of a lemon and a lime and a little cumin for flavor.  I used a neutral oil like grape seed so I could taste the citrus and spice.  When the quinoa is still a little warm, add the dressing so it absorbs a little bit of it.

Once the quinoa is cool, add the vegetables and taste for seasoning.  You might need more salt and pepper and a squeeze more lime or lemon but that’s up to you.  I think this would be a swell dinner with a handful of tortilla chips and a beer, or a side dish for a picnic or outdoor party.

Quinoa-Black Bean Salad


  • For Salad:
  • 1 box quinoa, prepared according to package directions
  • 1-2 jalapeños
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 2 avocados, cut into cubes
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • For Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup grape seed or other neutral oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt, pepper


  • Roast jalapeños over gas flame or under broiler until the skins are completely black. Place them in a bowl and put a plate on top to steam them. After 10 minutes or so, peel the blackened skins off.
  • Seed, devein and mince the jalapeños, set aside.
  • Whisk together the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  • Pour dressing onto still warm quinoa. Pour into a salad bowl and let cool.
  • Add all chopped salad ingredients, including roasted jalapeños.
  • Taste again for seasoning, adding salt, pepper or lemon or lime as needed.


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